Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Flying upside down and straight and level

Todays flying was a mixed bag. I started the morning with a new instructor who was to take me up in the Citabria and perfect some of my aerobatics manoeuvres and then take me back to try my landings in the taildragger.

Yuichi is the name of my instructor and he is a competetion aerobatics pilot. He currently owns his own Pitts (see pic below) and also takes up pilots in the tandem Pitts to get them checked out in the Pitts. He has a very mellow air about him and he told me that to him, aerobatics is just like a cross country flight to him, in other words easy. So I felt right at ease in the cockpit.

We took off headed to the practice area and tried my hand at some barrel rolls, aileron rolls, knife edge climbs, loops and a few spins. I had lots of fun and tried filming a loop which I'll upload to You Tube later.

We then flew home and I did a really nice landing, albeit pulling back on the elevator a bit too soon in the flare. But it was pretty smooth.

The afternoon brought back the steady flying of the Cessna. Matt and I had our Biennial Flight Reviews (BFR) in the Cessna and our instructor also took the time to explain the GPS functions etc in the plane as we'll be taking this particular plane on our trip to Vegas and Grand Canyon.

I was asked to demonstrate slow flight, steep turns, a practiced forced landing (PFL) and various types of landing and take-offs (soft field, short field etc). All in all it went well, although my PFL ended up with me side slipping the plane a lot just to get it down into the runway as I began my descent too close to the field. But I would have landed it on the runway and that's the main thing.

Matt then went up in the Pitts with Yuichi to let him loose and see if he could make Matt get sick. Happily he came back safe and sound and not the green colour I was expecting. In fact, he was shouting "More, more" when they were flying. Seems he enjoyed it.

We're planning to do a Bay Tour next and then head off firect to Vegas tomorrow. Will keep you all posted.

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